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Propagation Boxes

Posted by Kippy-the-Hippy 10 Sunset 24 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 22:56

In a different thread, Jeri mentioned Col. Mel Hulse's propagation box. Are there photos or an article about it?

My Monday plans are to set up a clear plastic tub/box to start cuttings. (I have gallon mason jars but thought that a box would be better for this time of year-the sun drops on my Mason zone and it sits in cold shade most of the next couple of months)

I thought I would put a layer of bigger size gravel on the bottom with drain holes drilled below the top of the gravel so water can stay in the box, but yet not have pots sit in water. I have a bunch of band pots I thought I would use along with some clean plastic cups. I was thinking of drilling holes in the lid of the box for 1/4" drip system mist heads and hooking that up to a bucket and battery timer for a gravity fed water system.

Does that sound like a good idea? What do you do or recommend


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Propagation Boxes

Hi Kippy..........

Here is a link to an article that Mel wrote when he first started using a terrarium to propagate roses in the HMF Ezine article archive. I know he tweaked the process a bit as he became more experienced with it, but the article is a good start.

Smiles,
Lyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Mel's Terrarium Propagation Article on HMF


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Do you know of a preferred brand of Soilless potting mix?

I have a bag of cactus mix, would adding more peat moss be similar to the recipe listed?


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Kippy........

I really don't know what Mel used. I can only guess. However, I believe many seed starting mixes are considered "soiless potting mixes."

Someone with more experience with propagating roses may be able to provide more guidance.

Smiles,
Lyn


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Thanks Lyn!

He said not seedling start mix, hmmm


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Oops ! I didn't read the article again.

I know I have experimented this year starting hardwood cuttings with just perlite and, so far, the cuttings are still viable. However, my climate is so very different than yours, that I can't really help much.

Have you read Kim's blog about how he is now starting his cuttings ? I'll put the link below. Start at the the early entries of the blog.

Smiles,
Lyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Kim's Blog


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RE: Propagation Boxes

I, too, am curious why he stated not seed starting mix. Generally it is just finer material than normal soil less potting mixes. As well, unless he is using a coir based or a mix designed for succulents or orchids a majority of the soil less potting mixes are >75% peat anyways. The perlite quantity is also puzzling. Hope someone can clarify it for me.

If you haven't tried using mycorrhizae I highly suggest it. I used it on 50% of my plants this year and was impressed.

SCG


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RE: Propagation Boxes

One thing we changed, from Mel's method, is that we don't put the "soil" loose in the terrarium. We put the cuttings in, in individual cups. We find that, doing it that way, we don't destroy roots, trying to scoop the cuttings out.

Kippy, Clay is going to be doing his methods at the same meeting Kim's doing his, so you can ask him.

But you will also find a long, illustrated article on the Gold Coast Heritage Roses Group website, under "ARTICLES". Look for "PROPAGATION."

Jeri

Here is a link that might be useful: ARTICLES: Gold Coast HRG


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Jeri,

I will be there to see and learn from Kim and Clay. But have a couple of cuttings to work with before that demo. And I am still trying to get Perle d'Or to root. The bush is had a nice flush on it a week or so ago, so I am hoping to catch it in that window with mostly spent flowers before the gardeners sheer it again.

I found that the straight cactus soil mix is really heavy and wants to break apart. Maybe adding some more of the peat moss to the mix will work better.


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RE: Propagation Boxes

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 19:21

I think seed starting mix stays too moist.

I've had good luck with straight coarse sand. If you have a terrarium type environment, it is very humid and the mix can get too moist. Damp is perfect, moist is rot.


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Kippy, Clay uses a couple of types of potting soil, with a healthy amount of pearlite. Vermiculite can be good. Bob Martin had good luck with what he called a "Vermiculite Sandwich," -- but I can't find a reference to it. Essentially, layers of various things. But Clay mixes the pearlite into the mix.

Jeri


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RE: Propagation Boxes

When in the Santa Clarita Valley, a much more extreme and arid climate than my current one, I used Mel's Baggie method with great success. Instead of using loose soil, I switched to peat pellets, the disks you soak in water so they swell. I hydrated them in hot water so they'd moisten faster, then I squeezed out the excess water so they were moist but not dripping.

I inserted the cutting ends in to them, then into the gallon zip loc bags, making sure the foliage didn't come in contact with the bags (I blew into them to inflate them before sealing) then put them inside an old aquarium so there was light but they would stand up like books on a shelf. The roots would grow through the peat pellet sides so I could see what rooted and when. I had to discontinue that method in this climate because the entire cuttings molded when covered or encased. I did succeed with one cutting planted deeply in seed starter mix this summer. I had the seed starter mix and received cuttings which I budded and struck what wasn't appropriate for budding as cuttings. There is easily four inches of this cutting still under the seed starter mix. I will raise it once there are rains...if there are any. I've tipped out the root ball to check and there ARE many roots growing around the pot sides and bottom. Kim


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I can believe the baggie method worked there, Kim.

Here near the coast, I just grew lots of fuzzy gray mold. :-(

Jeri


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Yes, Encino and Camarillo are more similar humidity wise than Santa Clarita. Kim


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That makes sense. Oh, we hung them baggies in the avocado tree . . . The result was sooooooooo ugly!

Jeri


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With all the different methods and materials available I have a feeling that positive results were more a indication of proper moisture levels than composition of materials. Much like the quality of paper for the burrito method.

Still happy to see success....hope next year 'strikes' me too :) lol


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Moisture level/oxygen level of the medium and around any foliage, and I think you've nailed it, SCG. In the more arid climate, foliage which remained in contact with the plastic, rotted. In the more humid climate, anything enclosed rotted. Kim


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In general, I find that cuttings are more reliable for me if I avoid using any organics in the rooting mix (since there are high probabilities of some sort of botrytis or pythium occurring)...so sand, vermiculite, perlite and even cat litter has always been good for me..........
I have used Jiffy 7 pellets (those compressed and soakable ones) but at 10 pence a pellet, this is far too expensive for me.


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Yesterday was moms big party, I found clear solo cups (instead of the usual red party cup style) Being ever cheap or environmentally conscious, pick the one you like the best, I saved the cups. They are getting washed, soaked in bleach and drain holes drilled today. I think I will try the cactus mix I already have but better follow directions on preparing it. Off to Home Depot for some clear tubs


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If you don't find the storage boxes at HD, we have had very good luck finding them at Target.

Jeri


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Kippy, any interest in doing a photo journal of your efforts?
Which roses are you attempting?
Thanks!
Susan


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Jeri, I picked up a Rubbermaid storage solutions box. I think I can fit 4x5 (20) cups in it. Costco has the heavier duty file boxes about tax time, so I will keep my eye out for that. No Walmarts or Targets here

Susan, I should do a blog on it, I have 3 different ones that I have not touched in a while. I had one that I wrote on regularly years ago. Then they shut down and I had to re write some on a new blogspot one, then I got so busy it was depressing to be that tired and really not be able to see as much progress. But I have all the photos so I can go back and post now. I also set up a garden only blog, just did not do much with it.

I got my set-up set-up. Just need to clean and sharpen the clippers. I want to find a couple of bits of Grandmothers Hat to start with. I want a second one by the main lower garden gate-it has two- and I hope to get a couple more started to share. I also can clip a couple of canes out of Gruss An Aachen, she is an older plant to start with. I need to check on the patent date, but if it has run out, I would like to start a few Belinda's Dream for moms friends. She really loves that rose and I would like to have ones that she can give to friends.

There are a few others too....gonna need another box!

I FINALLY planted Crepuscule-lets hope she is happy. She got the prime spot in the garden. I dug out Simplicity who finally had some clean new growth and buds and put her back where she came from. Hopefully she will survive the trip and be happy once more. If not, I do not have to look at her nasty self in the spring a second time-RustyMildew.


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FWIW, "Grandmother's Hat" isn't the EASIEST rose to root. Maybe it has something to do with its tendency to repeat and repeat bloom.

Jeri


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Jeri,

Since mine is young and does not bloom often, think the chances are any better?


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Maybe.
And don't worry. She'll bloom more, later.

We planted one on either side of a door into the garage. Both grew like mad, but one bloomed very little for the first year or so. Then, it settled in and acted just like its twin.

Jeri


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RE: Propagation Boxes

Update a bit over 3 weeks later:

My first 5 are happy, thank you Gean! All have little green "horns" and Sombreuil wins the first tiny leaf award. I realize it does not mean they are rooted, could be stored energy but they are all happy and green.

The cuttings from Kim are a bit less than three weeks but also have signs of being happy.

Only one doing nothing-Jeri said it, Grandmothers Hat. But it is not looking sad either so there is still hope.

I picked up 3 more boxes, smaller, for future batches.


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RE: Propagation Boxes

So glad to hear it, Kippy!


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